No one remembered Mum's anniversary

Last week it was a year since my mum died. She was 93 and I’m 62.

I cried every day for 9 months but since August things were beginning to get a little easier. I try to keep busy, volunteering at a local community group two or three times a month. I do some online classes and am a WI member. But during the last two weeks things have got worse again and I’m very down and tearful. I’m sleeping worse than ever and have been feeling panicky (which is new).

Mum was my best friend and we had always lived together. Dad died when I was 29. I feel completely alone as I’m an only child and have no partner or children. No family to speak of and very few friends apart from one who lives some distance away who rings every week and another who lives locally who I go for a walk with about once a month.

Mum had a sister and a brother and some nieces and nephews. Two of my cousins were supportive at first but they stopped getting in touch a couple of months ago. I fully accept this is normal and that they have very busy lives.

Apart from an elderly neighbour, no one remembered it was mum’s first anniversary. I’m not really a church goer but I went to a lovely All Souls service at the local church and mum’s name was read out along with the many others who died during the last two years. Going to that did help a bit.

The rational me knows it would be unreasonable to expect anyone apart from me to remember or care. Mum’s sister is nearly 90 and has some memory problems so I didn’t expect her to remember. I visit her regularly. I thought mum’s brother, fully fit and with a busy social life aged 84, might have given me a call this week even if he didn’t mention it. I ring him every week but if I don’t make contact he doesn’t call me.

I try to keep a cheerful front when I talk to people and my extended family must think I’ve ‘got over it’ and moved on but I don’t think I ever will. I still miss mum every single day and think I’m always going to feel profoundly sad that she has gone. It was just the two of us for so many years.

Sorry to ramble on this way but I just feel so sad at the moment.


Hi caro, how sorry I am for you, life is tough and when we are grieving it’s hard. I am so sorry that no one thought to contact you, the thing no one knows what to do at these times. Honestly that’s the problem, we don’t talk about our grief so everyone thinks we are ok and getting on with life and anniversaries don’t mean the same to others. As you say the ‘rationale’ side tells you but
Be kind to yourself and and remember the good times you had over the years. You take care. S xx

Dear Caro,
I am sorry for your loss. At night (and day, always) I am thinking. I thought, that the adding pain with grief is that you are alone in your place with your pain. The people around me say “the death is with life” and “this is the rule of the life” etc. Ok, but this person who you lost is only one, the only one in the universe, and it isn’t so easy to accept, that this person won’t be here any more. This is painful, that they can go away with these sentences, but you stay with your unexplainable pain. I hope you can understand my bad English. I feel with you. I am sending you hugs.

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Thank you so much for your reply Apu. Much appreciated.

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My mam died a week ago today and I just want to die to be with her. My sisters and dad were upset when she died but have been laughing and going about life as normal, planning the funeral etc. I just can’t bear to be with them. I totally understand how destroyed you are. I’m 51, live alone, have no children, am agoraphobic and have panic attacks outside, don’t speak to neighbours and have made no friends because I am so isolated. My mam was the only one who really understood and defended me because nobody else does understand. I’m glad that the church remembered your mam. I’ve wondered about going to church because my mam did. You are so lucky to have had her for that long. My mam would have been 80 in January. We were going to have a party for her. Keep in touch with whoever you have in your life because it’s so precious and easy to lose. You can write to me whenever you want to. I am thinking of you and your mam x

Thank you for responding Christine. I am so sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you.

I did get quite a lot of support in the early days after Mum died for which I have to be grateful. I think I was pretty much numb though I didn’t think so at the time.

And yes I was so lucky to have had her for so long and I’ll always be grateful for that too.

The anniversary stirred things up again but I am more on an even keel now. Soldiering on day to day and trying to keep busy.

It’s very early days for you. Be kind to yourself. Sending virtual hugs.


Hi Christine51, I lost my wife of 38 years in February and due to loose my own mum within the next 6 months, I have read several of your posts, I cannot comment on how your father and family seem to be moving on but I can tell you my daughter “35” was very good at moving on “or so it appeared” until it hit her a couple of months later, at this time she completely unravelled! and had a melt down, she done everything she could not to face the fact she had lost her mum, Grief is a terrible place and trust me you are at the beginning of a long road, I would imaging your father is in shock, I know when Kath died I went on auto pilot, I contacted Cruse “please contact them” who still help me every week, I would however suggest you and your family not to make any big decisions, its too early, I still have my wife’s belongings at home, I did think early on about donating them but on reflection I am glad I didn’t , my heart goes out to you, please try to take a breath, and step back, I was told very early on that when we have a trauma in our lives our brains sort of “freeze” to allow us to function, then over time it will defrost slowly to enable us to manage the situation we are in and deal with issues as they arise, trust me your brain is frozen, you need to process what has happened, allow yourself the time, I have months of this terrible experience so feel free to contact me if you feel you need to let rip., take care, eat when you can, sleep when you can, talk to people when you feel you can.